A/N:

All characters are the property of Stephenie Meyer.

Recognizable quote are from "New Moon" pages: : 71-72, 367-368, 376-378, 383-384, 389.

The story begins after Jacob rescues Bella from drowning and brings her to the Black's house.


Chapter 1: Some Psychic You Are!

Bella was exhausted. Jake brought her over to his place and she changed her wet clothes for the dry ones she had in her truck. Her shoes were leaning against the radiator to dry up, while she was cuddled up on the sofa wrapped in a blanket. Despite being tired as hell, Bella couldn't fall asleep. There was nothing she wanted more than to fall asleep and give in to the dream world for a few hours, but the day's events were swirling in her mind.

It could have been Jake's snoring – seriously the guy could wake up the dead with his snoring – that prevented her from falling asleep, but Bella suspected it had more to do with the fact that her mind won't shut down.

She felt as though she was awake for the first time in months. Really awake. Not the zombie-like creature she had learned to recognize since the day he left. No, this wasn't the Bella she knew up until her 18th birthday. It wasn't the Bella whom Edward left broken and grieving.

This was a new Bella.

The strangest part was that even though she felt physically exhausted, she felt stronger than ever. The gaping hole in the middle of her chest no longer ached. Bella wrapped her arms around her torso, examining the way it felt. No, there was no need to hold myself anymore, she thought, I am not going to fall apart ever again.

Bella took a deep breath. The air scratched her sore throat. She was thirsty.

"You might think that with all the water I've swallowed, I would at least not be thirsty" she chuckled. The words were frail and her voice was rough. Drowning was not a fun experience, she thought sarcastically.

Bella dragged herself to the small kitchen and poured herself some water. She drank almost a liter of water before the feeling of thirst subsided. Her throat felt a little less sore, so she returned to the sofa in the living room.

The TV was on but muted. Bella tried to pay attention to the flickering images on the screen but she couldn't see anything. Her mind was preoccupied with thoughts. Bella saw herself, maybe for the first time in over a year, really saw herself for who she was. And the sight made her sick.

What kind of a spineless rag have I become? Bella thought with disgust. She didn't miss the fact that a rag had no spine to begin with, but the double accent was deliberate.

Bella thought about the passing year, about how things had been going. She behaved as though all of her existence was dependant on Edward and his whims.

"Yes. Edward" she said out loud. Speaking was still hard, her throat was still too sore for the action to be pleasant, but she insisted on making the effort. She could think his name and she could say his name out loud. I will not fall apart anymore, Bella promised herself.

And in the first time in god knows how long Bella felt angry. No, not angry – furious. She never felt so angry her entire life. She felt betrayed, hurt, abandoned and above all – absolutely furious.

She was angry at herself, for starters. For what she was putting Charlie through, for the way she treated her friends from school – and she couldn't blame them for not being her friends anymore. For the way she handled Jacob.

But self loathing was something old Bella would have done. The new Bella preferred to aim her fury towards the people who harmed her. Not just Edward, but the Cullens as well.

Not only did Edward abandon her, the rest of the Cullens didn't bother to say Goodbye. Not even Alice! Alice, who was so much more than a best friend, she was a sister to Bella. Alice didn't even bother to call or write. She just left.

Bella allowed herself to reach a point in which she doubted herself so much that she thought of herself as unworthy. She allowed herself to be convinced that she wasn't good enough for love, for Edward.

Oh, Edward. Boy, did she have a stomach full of words for him. None were pretty or nice, not anymore. She was pissed at him. For the way he disregarded her emotions, for the way he made her feel as though she wasn't good enough of a person for him to stay with. Edward treated her as though she was merely one of many distractions in his life.

"You're human" he told her that day in the woods "your memory is no more than a sieve. Time heals all wounds for your kind". She loved him. With every fiber of her being, with every chord of her soul – and he just waved it all away as a mere sieve.

If Bella wasn't physically exhausted, she would have been pacing through the small living room. But after an attempt to stand up lead to a pile of blanket and Bella on the cold floor – she decided to pass on the physical pacing and was satisfied with just imagining herself doing that.

"Who the hell are you, Edward Cullen?" she hissed, unable to avoid saying that out loud. The guy led her into a delusional state, into a zombie-like existence, and all that for what? For a vampire who isn't really alive himself? A vampire who basically told her, to put it in simple words – "Get lost"?

She turned herself into a friendless, zombie-like, spineless rag for the most pussy-fied vampire on the face of the planet! Bella wanted to throw up in disgust.

Jake drove Bella home in her truck after he woke up. Charlie would be coming back home from the hospital soon, and she wanted to be there for him. Bella didn't know what condition Charlie will be in, or how much would she be able to help him. But she had several months to make up for, gotta start from somewhere.

Bella and Jake spent most of the short drive in silence. Jake drove and Bella didn't argue, at least not with Jake. In her mind, though, she was arguing with herself, her old-self.

During the drive Bella had come up with a decision. She will never let any man, any creature – living or dead – to turn her in to that rag she had become because of Edward. She will never let herself doubt her own value or enter a relationship without knowing the other side is committed as well. From now on, she will always put herself first.

Jake watched Bella as she was deep in thought. She didn't notice that they had stopped in the driveway of her house. "What are you thinking so hard about?" he asked, can't help smiling at the determined look on her face.

"A lot of things" she said.

They looked at each other for a few moments, but then the atmosphere changed. Jake began leaning towards her, but before he could reach close enough to kiss her she put her hand in the air and said "No, Jake" stopping him.

An array of emotions crossed his face. Disappointment, hurt, pain… Bella saw all of them. She didn't like hurting Jacob, god knows she had done it enough as it is, but this wasn't the right way for her.

"I'm sorry Jake, but I don't know if I'm ready for that" with all of the knowledge she had about the wolves, about imprinting specifically, and with the situation between Leah, Sam and Emily – Bella knew that she did not want to find herself in Leah's shoes. Bella had enough of the Zombie-Bella shoes which she had filled for the past few months, she didn't want to fill Leah-like-shoes when Jake eventually imprints. "You will find someone" she told him. She was trying to make her tone soft, but her throat was still sore and it came out hoarse and rough.

Jake opened his mouth to respond but she stopped him before he spoke "you and me both know that I am not the one for you, or you would have already imprinted on me. And I don't want to go through that again"

Jake couldn't deny that. He saw Leah, Sam and Emily himself. He, more than Bella, knew all too well how much it hurt all three of them. He loved Bella, she was his best friend. He saw her hurting. He was hurting for her, while she was hurting because of him. She had suffered enough pain, he didn't want to be the cause of more. "Still friends?" he asked with a small smile that didn't quite reach his eyes.

"Always" Bella replied with a smile.

"It's good to see you smile"

"It's good to be smiling"

"Charlie isn't home yet" Jake said and gestured towards the dark front porch. Charlie always left the light on for Bella "Do you want me to stay with you until he comes home?"

"No, I think I would like some alone time"

"Ok"

Bella reached her hand to the door of the truck and a gust of wind blew inside the cabin. Jacob yelled "Stop!" and pulled her back, closing the door. Bella stared at him, confused.

"What's wrong?"

"Vampire" he spat out.

Bella paled with fear "How do you know?" could it be that Victoria had reached her home and was waiting for her?

"Because I can smell it! Damn it!"

Jacob's eyes were wild, raking the dark street. He was barely aware of the tremors that were rolling through his body "Phase or get her out of here?" he hissed at himself.

He looked down at Bella, taking in her horror-stuck eyes and white face and said "Right. Get you out".

Jake revved the engine. The tires squealed as he spun the truck around, turning towards the street. The headlights washed across the pavement, lit the front line of the black forest and glinted off a car parked across the street from the house.

Bella thought that there was something familiar about the car and it took her a few seconds – seconds in which Jacob had already drove them several meters away from the house – before she said "Stop!". Jake continued to drive down the street, he didn't hear her "Jake, stop! It's not Victoria" she shouted, and this time he heard her. The truck was already at the end of the street when Jacob slammed his foot against the breaks and threw them both into the dashboard.

"What?" Jacob shouted. He was shaking so hard that Bella almost felt as though the whole truck was shaking along with him.

"Jake, calm down! If you phase right now you might hurt me" Bella said as calmly as she could, trying to hide her fear.

Jake took a deep breath, the trembling of his body gradually subsiding.

"It's Carlisle's car, it's the Cullens, not Victoria" Bella's voice expressed her relief that there was no danger. But Jake didn't share her relief. More vampires, he thought, as if we didn't have enough leeches already. "Jake, take me back home. It's not Victoria" she put her hand on his shoulder, trying to calm him further because his body was still shaking.

"There's a vampire in your house" Jacob hissed "and you want to go back?"

"Yes" Bella said in confidence "Take me back, Jake"

"No!" Jacob roared, insult and disappointment were mixing inside him. He looked at the pained expression on her face and added "I can't go back. Treaty or no treaty, that's my enemy in there. We can't be caught on their territory. I have to tell Sam right away. This changes things. If they are back, he needs to know that"

"Jake – "

"No!" he cut her off and opened his door "Take yourself back" he slammed the door shut. "Bye, Bella" he called back over his shoulder. "I really hope you don't die." He sprinted into the darkness, shaking so hard that his shape seemed blurred. Jacob disappeared before Bella had a chance to call him back.

"Yeah, I hope so too" she murmured as she crossed the seat to take the wheel.

The keys jingled in Bella's shaking hands as she tried to insert them into the lock. She felt betrayed. After all this time – and with no word for months – they just show up at her doorstep? It was fury that was shaking her hands now, not fear.

It took three attempts and several deep breaths before she was able to insert the key and unlock the door. The house was dark and silent when she walked inside. Bella probed the wall next to the door, looking for the light switch. The house was absolutely still, but it didn't surprise her. There was no one who could be as still a vampire. After about a minute of probing and searching, she was able to find the light switch and turn on the lights.

"Bella!" The sound of her name being called and the sharp intake of breath were the first signs of a presence in the house. They didn't surprise her. It was the voice that called her name that did. It wasn't the soft honey-like tone of Carlisle – it was the bell chimes of Alice's voice.

"Alice." Bella said in a cold tone. The single word expressed all the emotions stirring inside of her.

Alice, the tiny pixie-like black-haired vampire… Alice, whom she thought of as a sister! Alice, who disappeared without a goodbye, who abandoned her just like Edward and didn't even bother to write her an email or a bloody text message. Alice, whose abandonment hurt no less, and maybe even more, than Edward's – was standing right in front of her.

"Would you like to explain to me how you're alive?" Alice demanded to know.

Bella smiled bitterly. She immediately realized what must have happened, and why Alice was there. At least Alice cared if I was dead or alive, Bella thought and the pain deepened inside her. "You saw me fall" she stated coldly.

"No," Alice disagreed, her eyes narrowing "I saw you jump"

Bella didn't respond. She felt her knees shaking and knew that it would only be a matter of minutes before her body gave in and she would literally fall of her feet. She dragged herself to the living room couch.

Bella took off her shoes, throwing them next to the couch – they were still wet – and pulled the folded blanket around her body, tucking her feet underneath herself.

Alice shook her head while following Bella to the living room "I told him this would happen, but he didn't believe me. 'Bella promised'" her voice imitated her brother's voice perfectly.

Bella couldn't help but laugh, despite everything. Tiny Alice imitating Edward – who was so much bigger than her – was an amusing sight. But the amusement didn't last long. Once Edward's name crossed her thoughts, Bella spoke sharply "Alice, I wasn't committing suicide."

Alice eyed her dubiously. "Are you saying you didn't jump off a cliff?"

"No, it is called cliff diving. The guys from the reservation do it all the time" Bella explained dryly "I thought I should give it a try" she shrugged. Bella thought that any other explanation would definitely land her in a padded room. "Anything else you want to know?"

Alice looked confused and Bella laughed again. It was a rare sight. Alice, who always foresaw the future, was confused. That was something Bella didn't think she would ever get to see. "Bella…" Alice hesitated.

"What do you want, Alice?" Bella asked sharply.

Alice sat next to her on the couch "Why are you behaving like this?" she asked with a signature Alice-pout on her face.

"How did you expect me to behave? Oh, sorry, I forgot – you didn't expect to find me alive" Bella said in a mocking tone.

"I don't understand"

"Apparently there's a lot you didn't see. Some psychic you are! " Bella snickered.

"I understand that you're angry" Alice watched her carefully. It wasn't the Bella she knew. This bitterness was something she never saw in her before. "I'm sorry I couldn't say goodbye to you. I wanted to, so much, believe me" Alice tried to put a hand on Bella's shoulders, but Bella shook her off. "Edward wanted it to be a clean break – "

"Edward wanted! Ha!" Bella spat "And what about what I wanted? Did any one of you bother to ask me?" Alice flinched at the harshness of Bella's tone. It wasn't out of fear for herself, it was out of fear for Bella. She herself was indestructible, but Bella was highly breakable. "Did any one of you even bothered to wonder – what did Bella want? What did Bella think? No!" Bella never gave Alice the chance to reply. "Edward wanted. Everything that Prince Edward wants – the Prince gets!" She shouted.

"It's not true" Alice tried to protest.

"No?" Bella's eyebrows rose in a mocking question, "So how is it that you didn't bother to leave me a note? You were like a sister to me!" she accused "You didn't even bother to send a bloody text message, let alone call! Some sister you are"

"Bella, please try to understand. What Edward did, what we all did, it was out of concern for you – "

"Concern?" Bella cut her off "If you were concerned about me, you would have bothered to check up on me, at the very least. But you only showed up here because you thought I was dead. Dead people don't care if anyone is concerned about them"

Alice didn't reply. This was definitely not the scene she had envisioned when she decided to come back to Forks. This was nothing like what she was expecting. She couldn't blame Bella, because Bella was right. The Cullens did abandon her. No matter the reasons behind it, it was still true.

"Sheesh, Bella! When you're angry – you don't hold back!" Jake's voice appeared behind the girls. Neither one heard him coming in. "You're beautiful when you're angry, did you know that?" Jacob winked at Bella, who smiled back at him in response.

"What are you doing here, Jake?" she asked him, still smiling "I thought you went to talk to Sam"

"I had to see you were safe" Jake shrugged, "I've already put a lot of effort in keeping you alive today, I thought I should protect my investment"

Bella laughed "Well, I'm still breathing"

"Bella?" Alice's face was wrinkled with disgust at the wet dog smell that filled the room as soon as Jacob walked in "Who is that?" she asked.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to introduce you" Bella said with a fake apology "Alice, this is Jacob, our local werewolf and my best friend. Jake, this is Alice whom I thought to be my best friend before she left without a word and a psychic" Bella gestured at them while introducing "But apparently she's not that good. She's here because she thought I killed myself"

"A werewolf?" Alice asked in shock.

"Yes, bloodsucker. Got a problem with that?" Jacob asked menacingly.

"Bella, werewolves are not good company to keep" Alice turned to Bella, pleading.

"Speak for yourself, leech!" Jacob replied at the same time as Bella said "Alice, I will not allow you to insult my best friend".

"Bella, I'm just worried about you" Alice ignored Jacob.

"You lost your right to have a say about me the moment you betrayed my trust. The moment you and your family left me alone to face Victoria and Laurent"

"Victoria?" she hissed "Laurent?"

"Yes, another pair of leeches. Friends of yours?" Jacob mocked.

"They came back here?" Alice, still ignoring Jacob, asked Bella.

"Yes. Looks like Victoria holds a grudge against Edward. Something to do with the fact that he killed her mate. She figured a mate for a mate is a fair trade. Too bad she didn't know that I'm not Edwards mate" Bella replied.

"We didn't know that she would – "

"Yeah, like I said – not much of a psychic" Bella felt that if she had to look at Alice's pouting for any longer she would punch her. And that will definitely lead to a broken hand and a visit to the hospital. Charlie had enough problems without me being in a hospital as well, she thought. "Jake, how about we order some pizza? I don't feel like cooking and I know neither one of us ate much today"

"Sure," He smiled "Mushrooms and onions, ok?"

"Hold off on the onions" Bella wrinkled her nose "But mushrooms are ok"

"Ok, I'll call the pizza place" He said and went over to the kitchen where Charlie had the only land line in the house.

"I would invite you to join us," Bella turned to Alice "But since I don't feel like being served as dinner myself and as far as I remember pizza is not something you enjoy eating…"Bella's voice trailed off.

"Will you ever be able to forgive me?" Alice asked in a quiet voice.

Old Bella would have crumbled, Bella thought. She would have broken down in tears and wept on Alice's shoulders until she would have had no more tears to cry. Old Bella would have forgiven Alice the moment she walked through the door. Just like a lost puppy who found its owner. The realization was sickening. "I don't know." Bella said honestly. "I don't know if I even want to try…" her voice was as tired as she felt. There was no mockery left in her.

"I will leave you alone, then" Alice said. She knew that she also needed to think about things, turn things over. And Bella obviously needed to do the same and get some sleep as well.

"Thank you" Bella said, honestly grateful.